SPACE.com -- Do We Dare Let Aliens Know We're Here?: "SANTA CLARA, Calif. — Even if humanity could reach out to an intelligent alien civilization, scientists are polarized over whether we should.
Famed astrophysicist Stephen Hawking has argued that the extraterrestrials we contacted would be likely to harm us, a view that divided the experts here at the SETIcon convention.
'No one can say that there is no risk to transmitting,' John Billingham, former chairman of the SETI (Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence) Committee of the International Academy of Astronautics, said via a statement read at the convention Sunday. 'Personally, I agree with Hawking and think it may be unwise to transmit.'
However, Douglas Vakoch, director of interstellar message composition at the SETI Institute, said of aliens: 'Even if they tend to be hateful, awful folks, can they do us any harm at interstellar distances?'"